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Polish doctors deliver baby two months after mom declared ‘brain dead’

Natalia Dueholm Natalia Dueholm
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Dr. Andrzej Kűbler, head of the anesthesiology unit at the University Clinic Hospital

Wrocław, Poland, April 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Preserving the mother's life is so often used to justify abortion, but one Polish woman wouldn't even let apparent death stop her from giving life to her child.

The woman had an incurable brain tumor and ended up in the University Clinical Hospital in Wrocław. According to media reports, she was 41 years old, 17 weeks pregnant and had known about her disease for ten years. She had decided not to treat it for fear of the complications. Her brain cancer grew, cutting the blood supply to the brain. The doctors diagnosed her as brain dead, but her heart was beating. Along with her husband, they decided to maintain her vital functions to save the unborn baby.

While at that time, the boy was given no chance to survive outside the womb, he is now three-months old, out of the hospital, and safe in his father’s care.

“It was a fight for the baby’s life,” Andrzej Kűbler, the head of the anesthesiology unit at the University Clinic Hospital, said in an interview with RMF FM radio station.

And this victorious battle lasted 55 days before the baby’s birth, and three months after. Doctors delivered the baby by C-section when they thought he could no longer safely remain in his mother’s womb.

Krzysztof Kunert of wpolityce.pl writes that the medical personnel emphasized the father’s role and support in this ordeal. He moved close to the hospital, keeping watch and looking after his family. He also read books to his unborn baby.

The baby was born on January 9, 2016, and had to spend three months in the intensive care unit. The boy, born at the 26th week of pregnancy, weighed just 1kg (2.2 lbs). When he left the hospital, he had grown to 3 kg (6.6 lbs). Now he can eat by himself and is with his father, Barbara Królak Olejnik from the neonatology unit told radio RMF FM.

Professor Bogdan Chazan, a renowned pro-life doctor, praised the mother, who provided oxygen and food to the baby, and the father, for the decision to save the baby’s life. He told Niezależna.pl that the whole process of sustaining the mother’s vital functions was very difficult. Even momentary oxygen deficiency in the baby’s brain could have resulted in his death, he said. Chazan praised the work of the medical staff involved, and optimistically added that, “I have been recently observing more respect for life among obstetricians and gynecologists, and in society in general.”

Cases of keeping mothers artificially alive for the sake of unborn babies rarely happen, and then only with more advanced pregnancies.

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